Samba schools protest against budget cuts for Carnival

Photo: Leo Correa

Photo: Leo Correa

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Singing popular songs, members of Rio de Janeiro’s samba schools protested Saturday against the mayor’s proposal to slash city funds for next year’s Carnival.

The demonstration that began outside the city hall came in response to Mayor Marcelo Crivella’s decision to cut by half the city’s contribution to the annual celebration.

Crivella plans to reduce the city hall’s support from $640,000 (2 million reals) to $320,000 (1 million reals) for each school, and says the difference will be spent on resources for children’s day care centers.

“We are under budgetary restrictions, which demands austerity and sacrifice from everyone,” Crivella told Globo TV earlier in the week. He added that “the beauty of the Carnival is in the samba dancing” rather than the expensive, multistory floats that samba schools build for their parade competition.

The Independent League of Samba Schools responded by saying that next year’s Carnival parades “would not be viable” under such cuts.

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